PM remembers Mangal Pandey on his birth anniversary

OV Digital Desk

Mangal Pandey was an Indian soldier who played a key part in the events immediately preceding the outbreak of the Indian rebellion of 1857. He was a sepoy (infantryman) in the 34th Bengal Native Infantry (BNI) regiment of the British East India Company. In 1984, the Indian government issued a postage stamp to remember him. His life and actions have also been portrayed in several cinematic productions.

Mangal Pandey was born on 19 July 1827 in Nagwa, a village in the upper Ballia district.  He had joined the Bengal Army in 1849. In March 1857, he was a private soldier (sepoy) in the 5th Company of the 34th Bengal Native Infantry. He attacked British officers on 29 March 1857. It leads to the first big uprising, which came to be known as the Sepoy Mutiny of 1857, often called the First War of Independence. He revolted after the East India Company introduced a new weapon – the Enfield rifled musket – for its troops. The cartridges, greased with animal fat, were introduced when Mangal Pandey was posted at the garrison in Barrackpore in the mid-1850s. These new cartridges were a source of great discontentment as soldiers had to bite them off before using them. Further, it leads to a mass revolt against the British colonial rulers. During the revolt and scuffle, he was injured by a gunshot. Though he recovered from the wound, he was brought for a British shoddy trial.

When asked whether he had been under the influence of any substances, he stated steadfastly that he had mutinied on his own accord and that no other person had played any part in encouraging him. He was sentenced to death by hanging on 8 April 1857 along with Jemadar Ishwari Prasad.

25 June in Indian and World History

The Prime Minister, Shri Narendra Modi has paid tributes to freedom fighter, Mangal Pandey on his birth anniversary.

The Prime Minister tweeted;

“The great Mangal Pandey is synonymous with courage and determination. He ignited the spark of patriotism at a very critical period of our history and inspired countless people. Remembering him on his birth anniversary. Had paid tributes to his statue in Meerut earlier this year.”

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